Thursday, February 26, 2015

Food for Thought : The One That Got Away

 Italian fisherman may have caught world's largest wels catfish
Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari caught a 280-lb. Wels Catfish Thursday in Italy's Po Delta river, setting a new record. The U.K. Mirror reported that the catch is the world's largest wels catfish to be caught by rod and reel.

While the Po Delta River is known for being home to massive Wels Catfish averaging 6.5 feet, Ferrari's catch measured 8.8 feet. This type of fish is known to have a ferocious appetite and consume anything it comes across.
Wels Catfish are the second-largest freshwater fish in the region, ranking just behind the Belluga Sturgeon.

After Ferrari had a quick photo shoot with his massive catch, he released it back into the river.

Words  of  Wisdom :

"It isn't always easy to set the tone or circumstances where patience must prevail but then, every situation is quite different and each must be judged at the time.

"One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life."

"Develop the inner attitude of patience, persistence, and perseverance; and, defeat your own procrastination through action not dreaming."

“Healing is more about accepting the pain and finding a way to peacefully co-exist with it. In the sea of life, pain is a tide that will ebb and weave, continually.We need to learn how to let it wash over us, without drowning in it. Our life doesn't have to end where the pain begins, but rather, it is where we start to mend.” 

“Words themselves aren't that important. Even if somebody says words that shock you, or make you want to kill them, or make you tremble with emotion, the words themselves you tend to forget in time. Words are just tools we use to express or communicate something.” 

“ is a difficult optimisation. Structurally, it gets founded over words, organised around thoughts. Words are difficult to come through, successfully, amid the thought process. The thought process in right manifestation gives rise to communication.” 

A proud  grand-poppa       G.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Roasted Chicken Legs

2 ..............garlic cloves, smashed 
2..............Kosher salt 
1-1/2 .......teaspoons ground cumin 

1-1/2 .......teaspoons chile powder 
2 .............tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1..............28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well 
1 .............cup canned hominy, drained 
1/4 ..........cup sliced pickled jalapeños 
6 .............cups lightly crushed thick corn tortilla chips (6 ounces) 
4 ............whole chicken legs (about 12 ounces each) 
Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving 

1 .    Preheat the oven to 450°. On a work surface, mash the garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of salt. Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl and stir in the ground cumin, chile powder and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. 
2 .    In a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, toss the drained diced tomatoes with the hominy, jalapeños, half of the spice paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gently mix in the crushed tortilla chips. 
3 .    On a work surface, cut halfway through the joint between the thigh and drumstick on the underside of each chicken leg. Score the top of each leg 3 or 4 times, cutting to the bone. Rub the remaining spice paste over and into the chicken and arrange skin side up in the baking dish. Roast in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 
4 .     Leave the chicken in the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 3 minutes, just until the chicken skin is golden and crispy. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and return the baking dish to the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes, until the tortilla chips are lightly browned. Return the chicken to the baking dish, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream. 

Suggested Pairing 
This goes well with a lush, blackberry-flavored Malbec from Argentina's Mendoza region. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Honey Chicken Wings

4 ..........pounds chicken wings 
1/4 ......cup extra-virgin olive oil 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/4 .....cup unseasoned rice vinegar 
1 .........teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/2 ......cup honey 
2 ..........tablespoons soy sauce 
2 ..........scallions, thinly sliced 

1 .     Preheat the broiler and set a rack in the center of the oven. In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the wings on a wire rack set over a large, sturdy baking sheet. Broil for 45 to 50 minutes, turning once or twice, until the wings are cooked through and crisp. 
2 .    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and crushed red pepper and simmer for 1 minute. Let cool, then whisk in the honey and soy sauce. 
3 .    In a large bowl, carefully toss the chicken wings with the honey-soy mixture. Transfer the wings to a platter, sprinkle with the scallions and serve. 

Suggested Pairing 
Supple, blackberry-rich Merlot.

Heart healthy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Food for Thought : Know Your Labels

Do you know what the claims on your food packages mean? There are three categories of claims that are allowed on foods according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Specifically, there can be three main categories of claims: health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims. It can be confusing to determine what the claims mean, especially when the words “low,” “high” or “reduced” are used. Here are a few tips to help you decipher the claims on your foods:

1 .    Reduced — at least 25 percent less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual/regular product. 

2 .   Low sodium — less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving .

3 .   Fat free/sugar free — less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving .

4 .   Good source — provides at least 10-19 percent of the daily value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving 

4 .   High in — provides 20 percent or more of the daily value of a specified nutrient per serving.

                                   Garlic Shrimp
One of the favorites' takeout at Poppa's Herb Garden

2  tablespoons olive oil
1/2 head garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 lemon, unpeeled, cut into small wedges
2 bay leaves
1 pound shrimp (raw, peeled)

Heat oil in nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, lemon and bay leaves. Sauté for 5 minutes; add shrimp. Stir and cover; cook for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 10-12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. Serve.

Words  of  Wisdom :

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” 

“Our duty is wakefulness, the fundamental condition of life itself. The unseen, the unheard, the untouchable is what weaves the fabric of our see-able universe together.” 

“A person who could muster the courage to remove from his daily life the products that he basically doesn’t need would automatically delete the negative thoughts and the toxic people in his life.” 

“Letters are meaningless unless put together correctly. Words are worthless unless backed by truth. Sentences are handed out and judged accordingly, but only genuinely honest men or women can create writings that change the world forever.” 

“Friends are like knickers. Some crawl up your ass, some snap under pressure, some don't have the strength to hold you up, some get a little twisted, some are your favorite, some you can see right thru, some are cheap and just plain nasty, and some actually cover your ass when you need them to. Some you just hang out to dry...” (laughing  my butt off)

A proud Grand-poppa           G.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hamburger Stroganoff

6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup stroganoff, 2/3 cup pasta, and 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley)

8 ............ounces uncooked medium egg noodles 
1 ............teaspoon olive oil 
1 ............pound ground beef, extra lean 
1 ............cup prechopped onion 
1 ............teaspoon bottled minced garlic 
1............. (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms 
2 ............tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 .............cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth 
1-1/4 ...... teaspoons kosher salt 
1/8 ..........teaspoon black pepper 
3/4...........cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 .............tablespoon dry sherry 
3 .............tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.         Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. 
2.         Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan; cook 4 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in salt and pepper.
3.         Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and sherry. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.
TIP :Serve a lightened version of this classic dish with a tossed green salad and sautéed red and green bell pepper strips for a satisfying family-friendly meal.

Heart healthy

Monday, February 16, 2015

Moist 'n' Tender Wings .......slow cooker

Prep : 15 minutes  ... Cook : 6 hours ... Makes 4 dozen

25 .....................whole chicken wings (about 5 pounds)
1 .......................bottle (32 ounces) chili sauce
1/4 ....................cup lemon juice
1/4 ....................cup molasses
2 .......................tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 .......................garlic cloves , minced
1 .......................tablespoon chili powder
1 .......................tablespoon salt
1 .......................teaspoon garlic salt
3 .......................drops hot pepper sauce

Cut chicken wings  into three sections ; discard  wing tips . Place the wings in a 5-quart slow cooker  . In a bowl , combine the remaining ingredients  ; pour over chicken . Stir to coat  . Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken is tender .

These no-fuss wings are fall-off-the-bone tender . Chili sauce  offers a bit of spice while  molasses  lends a hit of sweetness . For a main course , serve with a side dish of rice .

Heart healthy 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Food for Thought : Has your life been touched by cancer?

 Controlling diet may help reduce  cancer  risk .
Chances are you, a friend, a parent or another loved one has been diagnosed with cancer at some point. Although cancer can make us feel helpless and out of control, there are a few things you can do to help prevent the disease.

One of the most important factors you can control is your diet. Here are a few tips for healthful eating that may help you reduce your risk of cancer:

1 .  Make sure you maintain a healthy weight. This is a key factor in reducing your risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Being overweight or obese is likely to increase your risk for developing certain types of cancer. Obesity also can affect the inflammation response in your body, which can negatively affect the immune system, some hormones and the way cells grow.

2 .  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

3 .  Limit your consumption of alcohol. Some studies suggest that drinking alcoholic beverages may increase your risk of certain cancers. If you drink alcohol, limit drinks to no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men.

What to avoid:
Foods containing preservatives.
Hydrogenated oils which equal trans fat.
High fructose corn syrup.
Excess sodium.
Sugar and sugar substitutes.
Alcohol and juice — both are loaded with sugar.
Artificial foods.
Anti-foods, which are foods that are full of calories but no nutrition (potato chips, cookies, cakes, crackers, baked goods).
 Excitotoxins (MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed protein, soy protein isolates, carrageenan).
If you can't read it (ingredient list) don't eat it.

The three S'   to  enjoy :
1 .  Salads: Green, leafy vegetables are important and should the basis of your salads. Kale, romaine, spinach and dark greens are the best choices. Add in beans for protein and pile on the veggies. Remember to choose organic produce when possible and make your own dressings using flavorful herbs and healthy vinegars and oils.

2 . Smoothies: Fruit and veggie smoothies can start with fresh or frozen produce. Blending is a great way to optimize absorption of nutrients.

3 .  Soups: Bean-based soups are nutrient dense and keep your hunger satisfied.

Words of  Wisdom :

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.

If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.

Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; wisdom is humble that it knows no more.

A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship.

Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.

A proud  grand-poppa      G.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Are you up for the Pepsi challenge? Well, here it is. This cake pops...literally. The ingredients actually call for a can of your favorite cola for some great taste. Your guests will bubble over with excitement upon trying this scrumptious dessert

2 .............cups sugar
2 .............cups flour
1............. cup Pepsi
2 .............sticks butter
3............. tablespoons cocoa
2 .............eggs, beaten
1/2 ..........cup buttermilk
1 .............teaspoon baking soda
1............. teaspoon  vanilla
1-1/2 .......cup miniature marshmallows 

Mix sugar and flour. In a pan, mix Pepsi, butter, cocoa and bring to a boil. Pour into sugar and flour. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees in a 9"x 13" pan. While cake is baking, prepare frosting. 

1/3 .......cup Pepsi
1.......... stick butter
3 .........tablespoons cocoa
1 .........teaspoon vanilla
1 .........pound powdered sugar
1.........cup nuts (optional) 

Mix Pepsi, butter and cocoa and bring to a boil. Add to the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 
(This recipe will make a cake or 3 dozen cupcakes.)
Heart Healthy

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Food for Thought : Do you know what your children are eating?

 Keeping up with all the foods available and marketed to your kids can be overwhelming. The food industry spends billions of dollars each year promoting their products to us. It can be hard to determine what is good advertising and what is good advice.

Here are a few tips to help you work with your children to make healthy choices for your family:

1 .  Read food labels with your children. Don’t just focus on the nutrition facts label, but also the ingredients list. Learn what ingredients are in your favorite foods. Look up any ingredients that you do not know.

2 .  Eat as a family, at least one meal a day. Talk about each food being served, the ingredients it takes to make it and where the food comes from. Most children do not grasp the concepts of where our food comes from beyond the grocery store.

3 .  Get involved and be an advocate for your child’s health. What foods are they being served when they are not with you? Focus on foods served at school, after-school programs, sporting events, friend’s houses and even when with other family members.

4 .  Lead by example and expose your children to good influences. Let them see you reading labels and talk aloud about why you are choosing one food over another. Participate in activities where other parents share your nutrition and health values

Words of  Wisdom :
"When you consistently maintain a positive frame of mind, you'll become known as a problem-solver rather than a complainer. People avoid complainers. They seek out problem-solvers." 

"Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not remain so if you only perceive an ideal and strive to reach it. You cannot travel within and stand still without." 

"The true test in life does not occur when all is going well. The true test takes place when we are faced with challenges. Some people have a positive attitude towards life only when all is well. However, when the going gets tough, their attitude changes instantly, and they become very negative or are consumed with self pity."

"Humor oils the wheels of life and helps to keep it running smoothly." 

"Commitments don't have to be chains. They can be rich with meaning. They can be the wings on which our spirits soar." 
"A man who correctly guesses a woman's age may be smart, but he's not very bright." (laughing  my butt off)

A proud grand-poppa :     G.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sweet Pepper Chicken -------Slow cooker

Prep : 20 minutes             Cook :  4 hours       Makes  6  Servings

6      bone in chicken breast  halfs (10 ounces  each)  skin removed 
1      tablespoon  vegetable  oil
2      cups  siced  mushrooms 
1      medium onion , halved  and  sliced 
1      medium  green onion , juienned 
1      can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed  cream of  muchroom soup , undiluted 
              Hot  cooked  rice

In a large skillet , brown chicken in oil on both sides . Trafer to a 5-quart slow cooker . Top with mushrooms , onion and peppers . Combine the soups ; pour over vegetables . Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170* . Serve with rice .

Sweet and green pepper strips add attractive color to this delicious chicken . You can cut up the vegetables while the chicken is browning . 

Heart healthy